The Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Wednesday announced several international running stars will be among those taking on the 2019 race.
Organizers revealed the race's international elite field, with past champions Bigid Kosgei and Dickson Chumba, both of Kenya, set to join last year's winner Mo Farah at the starting line.
This year's elite field includes 10 men who have run a marathon in less than two hours and seven minutes and six women, including two Americans, who have run in under two hours and twenty five minutes.
“It is always exciting to welcome our champions back, and with so many athletes competing in Doha at the IAAF World Championships marathon, we are proud of the field we have assembled,” Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski said in a statement. “This year is a critical year for athletes trying to punch their tickets to Tokyo so we anticipate inspiring races all around.”
Kosgei will be joined by fellow Kenyan runner Betsy Saina, a 2016 Olympian who also won the 2018 Paris Marathon; Mexican running star and two-time Olympian Madai Perez; Australian runner and three-time Olympic athlete Lisa Weightman; and Ireland's cross country star Fionnuala McCormack.
On the men's side, joining Farah and Chumba are Kenyan athlete and reigning Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono; fellow Kenyan athlete Kenneth Kipkemoi, who finished fourth in last year's Chicago Marathon; Ethiopia's Getaneh Molla, dubbed the eighth-fastest man in history; and fellow Ethiopian Herpasa Negasa, who finished second to Molla in the 2019 Dubai Marathon.
Farah finished the 2018 race with the eighth-fastest time in Bank of America Chicago Marathon history.
The international announcement follows the list of American elites looking to make it to the podium in October, including stars Jordan Hasay and Galen Rupp.
US running stars Amy Cragg, Brogan Austin and Chris Derrick have since dropped out of the event, organizers said Wednesday.
“This year’s elite field highlights an exciting resurgence we are seeing in American distance running right now,” Pinkowski said in a statement. “We have a deep pool of American runners who are coming to Chicago to run fast, and we cannot wait to welcome them in the fall. We could see new American records and a lot of personal bests in October.”
The 42nd annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon will set off Oct. 13 with more than 40,000 runners expected to cross the finish line.